Blog by Al Jones
The Shape 8783B is one of my favorite Kaywoodie shapes. This shape is more common in the Supergrain grade and this is the first one I’ve seen available in the Drinkless grade. This shape is almost identical in shape and size to my Comoys 499 Extraordinaire, but is significantly lighter at 54 grams.
Kaywoodie introduced the Drinkless grade in 1935. The four digit shape stamp was last used in 1938. This one has the four hole stinger with a large ball. It is also my first vintage Kaywoodie with the “Reg No 213598” and “Drinkless” stamps on the stinger. These details make it easy to date the manufacture of the pipe between 1935 and 1938. “Drinkless” grade pipes seem to have nicer grain patterns than Supergrain pipes. This one has some straight grain radiating around the bowl with birdseye on the bowl top.
The pipe was advertised as cleaned and polished. But as you can see from these picture, there was still considerable oxidation on the stem. The briar had some bruises with some rim darkening and one dent on the bowl top.
The nomenclature was worn, but visible to the naked eye. This pipe is stamped Aged Bruyère with Drinkless over Kaywoodie. Kaywoodie switched to the “Imported Briar” stamp in 1936, so it is possible that this pipe could be from 1935. There are overlaps between years, so there is no definitive way to determine the exact year.
The bowl appeared to be reamed and cleaned, but I soaked it with alcohol and sea salt just to be sure. The stem presented a problem as it was completely blocked. Using a piece of heavy copper wire, I was able to push out some dirty pipe cleaner debris and clear the stem. The detail work and funneling on the button end is very impressive and comparable to Comoys buttons of that era.
I was able to partially lift the dent from the bowl top with steam. I heat an old kitchen knife heated with a propane torch pressed onto a wet cloth over the dent. I then removed some of the rim darkening with a worn piece of 8000 grade micromesh sheet. The briar was then buffed with several coats of carnuba wax. I was careful to stay away from the worn nomenclature to avoid any more damage.
The oxidation on the stem was pretty stubborn. The stem appeared to have had some of the oxidation buffed or sanded off. I started with 600 grit wet paper, then progressed thru 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades. I then used 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond rouge.
Below is the finished pipe.